Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Too Many Google Accounts

I like testing out and using a lot of the services that Google are building and experimenting with. For example, I use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Notebook, Google Desktop, Google Analytics, Personalised Search, Personalised Homepage, Adwords and Adsense to name a few. I signed up to some of these services a while back, while I have only recently signed up to others.

Therein lies the problem. Way back before Google Accounts was launched, it was necessary to sign up to some of these services using a non-Gmail email address. With some of the newer Google services, you have to sign up using your Gmail address. This means that for some services I have more than one account and I can only use some services with a Gmail address account. I have to login and out frequently between services, therefore segragating all my data and losing the value of some of the services.

Here's an example:

  • Using the Gmail Notifier extension for Firefox, I am alerted when email arrives in one of myGmail accounts. I open Gmail and read that email.
  • Now, I go to my Adsense account. This uses my non-Gmail email address, so I have to log out of my Google Account and sign in again to Adsense.
  • I want to add an item to Google Calendar. I have to login to my Google account again, making sure that I use the same Google Account linked to my preferred Gmail account, otherwise Calendar sends email to the wrong account.
  • I want to check my web stats, so I have to log out of my Google Account, and log into Google Analytics using my non-Gmail email address.
  • Between all this, I do some searching. I have been swapping between Google Accounts and Gmail addresses for a few hours, so my Personalised Search History is now divided between 3-4 different accounts, making it almost useless to me.

I'm not the only one confused and frustrated by this. A quick search reveals that Danny Sullivan has posted about the same issue.

To solve this, I think there needs to be a way to consolidate all your Google services to one account, using one email address. However, I can't see any way to do this - in fact I believe there is no way to do this. Can you move Gmail data between accounts?

Is anyone else frustrated by the mess of different Google accounts and logins? Is there a way to consolidate it all? If you have found a way to do so, please reply and let me know.

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At June 08, 2006 10:45 pm, Blogger ryanhofer said...

I think that you could create a filter which forwards all your email to the new account or to whichever email you want; the same could be done with your calendar, you could share it with your other account.

At August 23, 2007 7:15 pm, Anonymous Alexia said...

I am in absolute agreement, I think I have six logins to Google (adsense, adwords, gmail, analytics and some other stuff even I probably have now forgotten about ),which is such a pity because it dissuades me from using their services.

At November 02, 2008 10:14 am, OpenID justinmoss said...

A point well made David. I too wish there was away to consilidate my many disparate Google accounts. Now that they about to become a Open ID provider, the issue is even more pressing.

At November 03, 2008 9:52 am, Blogger David McDonald said...

Thanks for the comment Justin. It seems to have got a little easier to merge accounts since I first posted this, but it's still an issue.

Do you think Open ID may help here, as you can have more than one email address associated with an Open ID account?

At January 06, 2009 9:15 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES!!! I wish I could move data and merge accounts... PLEASE GOOGLE. PLEASE!


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